To initiate 'Skittish', live artist Lisa Watts wrote a provocation, or description, concerning her ideas, to certain curators, that then inspired selection of sculptors with whom she would work. The provocation asked that there be a cross over between Watts' live art practice and the sculptor's aesthetics and artistic processes.
At Vane the sculptor David Kefford has been invited to join Watts in this presentation of the touring exhibition 'Skittish'. During the opening, and on a regular basis throughout the duration of the exhibition, Watts will visit Vane and perform new, developing, live work in the gallery. She will work alongside Kefford's sculptures allowing the exhibition visitors to find the connections between the two artistic practices. The relationship between live and visual art (sculpture in this instance) will be explored and revealed.
Watts is an artist who uses various media, such as performance, video, photography and digital imaging in her art practice, which often involves her own body. Since 1998 she has created an extensive body of work which has toured the UK and internationally, winning awards and commissions. Watts utilises the mundane and the abject in her performances and films. Her work plays with images of domesticity and the everyday. It is imbued with a subtle humour: in one of her actions in the performance Snowgum, the artist produces chewing gum from her mouth that she first sticks to the wall, drawing it out to form into a necklace that then shackles her by the neck to the gallery wall.
Kefford's sculptural work is mutable, temporal, uses un-monumental materials, and is made in connection with, and to, his own body. Kefford liberates and subverts common objects, materials and found images from the everyday environment and transforms these into new sculptural scenarios that suggest elusive, emotional and psychological narratives. Because of the strong physicality of his work as well as the mundanity of his materials, there are strong and evident connections with Watts' performance work that will be developed during the exhibition. Although the two artists are working in different disciplines, they experiment with the familiar or domestic, the everyday, pushing their chosen materials and processes to their utmost capabilities, transforming them into magical forms and events.
'Skittish' will also include two of Watts' existing works: Bad Luck (2006), a film made with artist photographer Alice Maude-Roxby and sound designer Ron Wright that utilises bodily contraptions to create a mysterious narrative, and Snowgum (2013), a performance of magical actions using chewing gum.
This exhibition is the second of three presentations of 'Skittish' that develops over eight months. In each of the three exhibitions, a different sculptor exhibits alongside Watts. The tour started at Spacex, Exeter (28 September ' 23 November 2013) and following on from Vane the exhibition will tour to The Tetley, Leeds, Easter 2014. The tour will culminate with a symposium at The Tetley in May 2014. A publication will accompany the project.
Lisa Watts' live performance schedule during 'Skittish'
Thursday 31 October 12-5pm / Friday 1 November 12-3pm
Wednesday 13 November / Thursday 14 November / Friday 15 November / Friday 29 November 12-5pm
Wednesday 4 December / Thursday 5 December / Friday 6 December 12-5pm
Thursday 12 December / Friday 13 December 12-5pm
Lisa Watts was born in Crawley, UK, and lives and works in Sheffield, UK. She attended the University of Edinburgh. Performances include I Never Made It as a Sex Kitten, the Serpentine Gallery, London, the Bluecoat, Liverpool, Hull Time Based Arts, Tramway, Glasgow and Greenroom, Manchester (1993), Grassmonsters, Dublin, Ireland, Hamburg, Germany (1990). Her film Bun (1997), made with filmmaker Susannah Gent, has been shown in Canada, India, Mexico, Spain, Italy and France.
David Kefford was born in Hitchin, UK, and lives and works in Cambridge, UK. He attended the University of Brighton. Exhibitions include, 'The Hair of the Dog', Block 336, 'New Foragers', Collyer Bristow, London (2012), 'One Minute Volume 5', De Anza Experimental Film, Cupertino, California (2011), 'Party Animal', SUGAR, New York (2010), 'Performing Presence', The National Centre for Contemporary Art, St Petersburg (2010). He is co-founder and director of artist-run project space, Aid & Abet, Cambridge.